KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – During what had been a day of close calls in Kaufman, 14-year-old Enrique Galan got too close to a renegade big rig—while on a bicycle near the courthouse square.
“Then this 18 wheeler comes out of nowhere from the side of the courthouse and clips the back of my tire,” Galan said. “He just kept on going… He didn’t even care that he ran into me.”
Galan and the bicycle survived with just a few scratches. But, local officials say the circumstances surrounding the big rig chase are simply bizarre.
“He circled the courthouse at least three times—two times, I know he was blowing his air horn,” said Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood, “pretty disruptive, and I must admit, scary as well.”
Judge Wood was in his courthouse office when the disturbance began to unfold outside.
“He was trying to attract everybody’s attention—but, he certainly got law enforcement’s attention–and all the people that work in this courthouse and on this square as well,” Wood said.
The Kaufman county courthouse was put on lockdown as a precaution. Police said the red Mack truck was reported stolen and had also been allegedly involved in a theft. Another motorist also called police to say that the driver tried to shove his vehicle into an intersection.
According to the Kaufman County Sheriff’s office, that motorist continued to follow the big rig until officers could get to the location and a slow pursuit followed. The driver is also accused of swerving in an attempt to strike a Kaufman police officer who was attempting to block the intersection.
That officer opened fire on the semi-truck, ending the chase. The driver was taken to Baylor hospital in Dallas with what officials have called “non-life threatening injuries”.
Kaufman teenager Samuel Villa was nearby and saw it all unfold.
“That officer got off and he shot,” gesturing with his hands to imitate the officer’s stance, “and he went like that.”
But, the teen insisted that he wasn’t frightened, telling CBS 11 “I had seen it on TV.”
But, this was real life: too real for a community that two years ago endured the daytime murder of an assistant district attorney in the shadow of the courthouse.
“We’ve healed as much as you can heal from something like that,” Judge Wood said. “But you never forget… This brings back those bad memories.”
“I heard the sirens and I knew it was bigger than him just hitting my bike,” says Galan. Indeed.
The stolen big rig is owned by a Kaufman attorney who coincidentally offices on the Kaufman courthouse square. Our call to ask about a possible connection to the incident was not returned.
The driver’s identity has not yet been released.
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